English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
Past participle of a verb created from an acronym

Since RSVP has morphed into a verb, I was wondering the correct way of using its past tense.

"Only 1 person RSVP'd to my event."

"Only 1 person did RSVP to my event."

"Only 1 person RSVPed to my event."

Which is correct, or if they are all incorrect, what is the correct way?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by kiamlaluno, Thursagen, JSBձոգչ, Rhodri, Dori Jul 14 '11 at 3:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

That question doesn't seem to answer my question. It seems to be subjective. – OghmaOsiris Jul 12 '11 at 4:10
In that case, also the answer reported here is subjective. The question is still a duplicate, as there is already a question asking the same topic. – kiamlaluno Jul 12 '11 at 12:52
The answer isn't what I was looking for and at the bottom of all questions it says, "Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged *participle *acronyms or ask your own question." So I asked my own question. – OghmaOsiris Jul 12 '11 at 13:08
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In formulating past tenses of unlikely words or acronyms, an apostrophe-d is always used to prevent confusion or mispronunciation. (Obviously this is non-issue in speech.) You could also use the auxiliary do if you want to avoid this construction. These two sentences are thus correct:

  • Only one person RSVP'd to my event.
  • Only one person did RSVP to my event.

Also, keep in mind that whenever acronyms are put in past tense using the apostrophe-d formulation, no account is taken of the full logical meaning of the acronym. Thus, you have examples like

  • DIY'd (which means engaged in a DIY project or carried out DIY on, etc),
  • BS'd,
  • SWAK'd (sealed with a kiss),

and so forth.

RSVP (Répondez S'il Vous Plaîtreply if you please/please reply) is a special acronym because it functions as a verb. However, we have all found it convenient to take it away from its largely stiff, formal original context (e.g. RSVP: Mr. Jones) to more useful ones, such as:

  • Don't forget to RSVP.
  • I did not RSVP. Can I still come?
  • Anyone planning to come should RSVP, so I know how many burgers to buy.
  • Please RSVP ASAP! (never mind the repetition!)

The past tense is less common, but RSVP'd would be the correct way to write it down.

share|improve this answer

RSVP is what you put at the bottom of an invitation, and means "please reply".

I don't think many people are likely to say "I didn't please reply to the invitation".

Better to just say "I didn't reply".

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.